In their own various manners, the Bishop Ludden basketball teams earned key OHSL Liberty division wins over the Solvay Bearcats on Tuesday night.
During a close contest on the boys side, the Gaelic Knights, a week removed from its first loss of the season to West Genesee in the finals of its own tournament Dec. 28, had to hang on to beat the Bearcats 55-51 and improve its mark to 7-1.
Ludden led 17-11 after one period, and the rest of the game followed the same pattern. Solvay stayed close enough to threaten, yet never could make the sustained run it needed for an upset, despite Dan Aiello leading both sides with 18 points and Deon Knighton-Kearse adding 16 points.
For the Gaelic Knights, Tyler Young, with 14 points (most of it from four 3-pointers), led a balanced attack where Casey Ganley had 13 points, Ben Hackett 11 points and Dan Kaigler nine points.
A night earlier, the Solvay boys went to Phoenix and did not get much in a 68-43 loss to the Firebirds. Phoenix began to pull away with a 23-point second quarter. In the second half, it got worse as Solvay got just 16 total points.
Knighton-Kearse had 14 points for the night, but Aiello got held to eight points as Nate Antonacci and Chuck St. Andrew claimed six points apiece. On Phoenix's side, Mark Felicia led with 20 points and Marty Felicia, with 18 points, was close behind.
Also on Tuesday, the Bishop Ludden girls basketball team jumped all over Solvay, using that quick start as a springboard to a 55-42 win over the Bearcats.
Before Solvay could settle down, Ludden had established a 17-5 lead, something it nursed the rest of the night through inside-outside balance.
Kayla Kibling had 18 points, including five 3-pointers, and Lauren Roy connected three times beyond the arc on her way to 14 points as Nicole Granteed worked inside for 12 points.
Meanwhile, Solvay's Tessa Pucello hit five of her own 3-pointers, accounting for most of her team's offense by finishing with 29 points. Ludden improved to 3-3 as Solvay fell to 1-4.